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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Our apartment in Bogota, Columbia

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I like to rent an apartment when we travel if we are going to be in a city more than 3 or 4 days.  On our last couple of trips Chuck has used the website www.airbnb.com  So far we have not been disappointed.

For me, being in Bogota, my first consideration was safety and security.  Chuck let me have the final decision on which apartment to choose.  It has worked out well for us but in retrospect I would have chosen a livelier neighborhood and given up a smidgen of security.

Here are some pictures of our huge apartment complex.



Since our apartment is on the top floor, we have a grand view from one corner of the apartment.


The only drawback is that we are about a 45 min. taxi ride from the center of the city.  This would not be too much of a problem if we were in the middle of a touristy neighborhood.  A neighborhood that you can walk to nice restaurants and shopping.  We are located right off a major highway and the taxi rides to the places we want to see are long.

Other than that one issue, we are really pleased with the place we chose.  We are a short walk to a big mall....that is good.

When we come back to Bogota, we now know the parts of the city where we want to stay.

By the way, here is the link to our apartment at AirBnB:

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/84126?guests=2&s=-Dzi

Yesterday was our last day in Bogota.  We went about an hour outside the city to a town called Zipaquira.  The reason for this day trip was to see the cathedral carved inside a salt mine.   This is a very popular tourist attraction and is billed by Colombia as the first wonder of Colombia.

The town itself was very nice.  It was clean, well maintained and seemed to have this blue and rust color scheme.


The is the main cathedral at one side of the paved plaza.


A government building I suppose at another corner of the plaza.


We took a taxi up to the salt mine attraction.

Here is the entrance to the mine.


Many tunnels and in some places it is so dark you cannot see where you are stepping.  I couldn't help but think that if the electricity goes out we are in BIG trouble.


Inside there are the stations of the cross.  Each station has a cross depicting that station.  These are lit by colored lights and there is subdued holy background music.


Each station has a plaque that is written in Spanish with an English translation.  I got a kick out of this translation.


After finishing the walk in, there is a big sanctuary carved into the salt mine.


Much better pictures are at this website:

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/04/salt-cathedral-of-zipaquira.html

Of course the visit is not complete without going on the train ride.


Here we are, the crazy tourists.  Chuck with his Ecuador shirt on, so he can remember where to end this trip and me, depending on his memory.


Tomorrow we fly to Cartagena.  This is a popular tourist city on the Caribbean coast.

We will be switching our long pants for shorter ones.

Love,
Nancy

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